This engaging text takes an evenhanded approach to major theoretical paradigms in evaluation and builds a bridge from them to evaluation practice. Featuring helpful checklists, procedural steps, provocative questions that invite readers to explore their own theoretical assumptions, and practical exercises, the book provides concrete guidance for conducting large- and small-scale evaluations. Numerous sample studies many with reflective commentary from the evaluators reveal the process through which an evaluator incorporates a paradigm into an actual research project. The book shows how theory informs methodological choices (the specifics of planning, implementing, and using evaluations). It offers balanced coverage of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Useful pedagogical features include: examples of large- and small-scale evaluations from multiple disciplines beginning-of-chapter reflection questions that set the stage for the material covered "extending your thinking" questions and practical activities that help readers apply particular theoretical paradigms in their own evaluation projects relevant Web links, including pathways to more details about sampling, data collection, and analysis boxes offering a closer look at key evaluation concepts and additional studies checklists for readers to determine if they have followed recommended practice a companion website with resources for further learning.
Donna M. Mertens is Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University, where she teaches advanced research methods and program evaluation to deaf and hearing students. She received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Gallaudet. The primary focus of her work is transformative mixed methods inquiry in diverse communities, with priority given to the ethical implications of research in pursuit of social justice. A past president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), Dr. Mertens provided leadership in the development of the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and the establishment of the AEA Diversity Internship Program with Duquesne University. She has received AEA\u2019s highest honors for service to the organization and the field, as well as for her contributions to evaluation theory. She is the author of several books and is widely published in major professional journals. Dr. Mertens conducts and consults on evaluations in many countries, including Egypt, India, South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Costa Rica.
Amy T. Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University. After living in developing countries and noting the poor assistance people with disabilities were receiving from U.S. development organizations, she developed Gallaudet\u2019s MA degree in International Development. The degree, which is the only one of its kind in the United States, focuses on the inclusion of people with disabilities in development assistance programs and in nongovernmental, federal, and faith-based development organizations both in the United States and overseas. Dr. Wilson is Program Director of the International Development Program; she also teaches deaf and hearing students research and evaluation, theory and practice of international development, micropolitics, community development with people with disabilities, multicultural education, and gender disability and development. Dr. Wilson evaluates and advises development organizations and agencies (e.g., U.S. Agency for International Development, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Peace Corps) about the inclusiveness of their programs, as well as their effectiveness with various disability communities.
Table of Contents
I. The Landscape of Evaluation
1. Introduction to Evaluation: Defining Terms and Ethical Considerations
2. Framing Evaluation: Paradigms, Branches, and Theories
II. Historical and Contemporary Evaluation Paradigms, Branches, Theories, and Approaches
3. The Postpositivist Paradigm and the Methods Branch
4. The Pragmatic Paradigm and the Use Branch
5. The Constructivist Paradigm and the Values Branch
6. The Transformative Paradigm and the Social Justice Branch
III. Planning Evaluations
7. Working with Stakeholders: Establishing the Context and the Evaluand
8. Evaluation Purposes and Questions
9. Evaluation Designs
10. Data Collection Strategies and Indicators
11. Stakeholders, Participants, and Sampling
12. Data Analysis and Interpretation
IV. Implementation in Evaluation
13. Communication and Utilization of Findings
14. Meta-Evaluation and Project Management
15. Perennial and Emerging Issues in Evaluation